Season 4 – epiBLOG 10:
There are three ways to keep morale up when you are in business for yourself as an artist. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy. You think of “morale” when you think of the positive or negative attitudes that people have when they are in a corporate office environment. However, as an entrepreneurial artist, you ARE your own “office environment” and it’s important that you keep your head in the game if you are to successfully move forward.
It’s easy to get discouraged because a deal with a client didn’t go through when you were anticipating it to, if someone didn’t pay you when they said they would, or if one of your contacts didn’t live up to who you were expecting them to be.
These experiences and feelings may cause you to want to crawl in a hole, create your art, and never connect with people again. However, the truth is, each day, each hour, each moment is an opportunity for us to renew ourselves and to not be defined by moments that we find to be disappointing. People, and our relationships with them, are part of what makes us great artists. We create from a place of pain, disappointment, joy, and sometimes happiness, along with other emotions. And it’s our connections with people that tend to stir up emotions within us.
Today’s topic is on three ways to be vulnerable and unwavering in your business.
WAY TO BE #1: BE TRANSPARENT
I know… many want to argue with me about this. If you’re transparent, that means you’re vulnerable. And the human condition then draws the conclusion that in one’s vulnerability, he or she will be open to getting “screwed over” or hurt. People get hurt no matter what. I find that when you are upfront and honest with people, they trust you for the duration of your relationship. For example, when you reach out to new contacts, be very clear as to the reason that you’re reaching out to them. Don’t pretend like you’re trying to be best friends if your goal is to sell them a product or service. People hate being fooled because nobody enjoys unknowingly playing “the fool.” Instead, take the time to research who the other person is and what’s important to them. You can easily do this by going on LinkedIn or googling them to find out this information. Find out how your business and your art can benefit the other person. You would then reach out to them knowing that you can sincerely help them in what is important to them. Be transparent about what you want from the very beginning without having a hidden agenda. You will find that people will “sign up” for what you want or they may not be interested in what you have. Either way, being transparent will give them the opportunity to make an informed decision for their own life.
WAY TO BE #2: BE TRUE TO YOUR WORD
If you say that you’re going to deliver a product by a certain date, meet someone at a certain time, invoice clients in a timely manner, then follow through on doing so. Nevertheless, you ARE human. I’m pretty sure I don’t have “artificially intelligent” machines reading this blog. There are going to be times when you are late for a meeting or you miss your deadline due to an unforeseen circumstance. No matter what the reason is, if you are not able to follow through on your word, let the other person know immediately, acknowledge your shortcoming, apologize for your oversight, and move on. Your word is all that you have at the end of the day, along with the talent that you’ve been given; the talent you’ve spent years polishing and perfecting. People will forgive a person who has been consistently true to their word, even when they fall short from their usual standards every once in a while. Mistakes happen. Those that don’t forgive, you probably don’t want to work with them anyway because you will never satisfy them.
WAY TO BE #3: BE LOYAL
Once you are transparent and true to your word, your personal and professional relationships make it easy to be loyal to. Loyalty is defined as “faithfulness to commitments or obligations,” according to Dictionary.com. When you and the others that you’re working with are transparent and true to your word, a certain trust is built as long as all parties are lined up with these ways of “being.” Because of this, creating a win-win relationship between you and others should be a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to refer business to a person who has been transparent and vulnerable with you? Business relationships, like personal relationships, should be win-win. Everybody should be benefiting from being in each other’s space. There should be a give and take, but it’s up to each individual party to openly discuss if they are getting what they need out of the relationship that has been established. If you don’t feel you’re getting what you need and/or feel that the business relationship is one-sided, it’s up to you to have an open discussion with that individual in order to build the loyalty that you’re wanting. You will have the loyalty of those who you’ve been transparent with and who you’ve kept your word to. They will do it willingly and easily, and all parties will win.
Today’s LESSON is to be transparent, honest, and loyal, and your business will expand in ways that you’ve never seen before.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Take a risk this week. Be transparent and honest within a new professional relationship. I can’t promise anything. You may get hurt. However, you also may build the foundation for the greatest professional relationship that you could’ve ever imagined.